Ceres Trust, whose name honors the ancient goddess of agriculture, provides grants that support: healthy and resilient farms, forests and communities; and the ecosystems upon which we all depend.

Kent Arthur Whealy

April 27, 1946 – March 23, 2018

Ceres Trust regrets to announce the passing of Kent Whealy on March 23. Kent was well known for his groundbreaking work in preserving the genetic variability of our food crops; turning curiosity, vision, and hard work into the celebrated Seed Savers Exchange (SSE). Beloved by gardeners, lauded by scientists, the SSE became the country’s largest non-governmental seed bank, growing into a collection of 26,000 varieties of vegetables. Besides maintaining the collection on 23 acres of organic gardens, Kent also made the best of them available again to gardeners and greatly expanded the trade in open–pollinated seed through his inventories.

As a trustee of Ceres Trust, which he joined in 2009, Kent was able to further his work in the genetic preservation of food crops and reinforce his opposition to the genetic modification of plants and the use of toxic chemicals in agriculture.

Kent was a strong believer in the idea that any one person could make a meaningful change in the world and he felt it his responsibility to do so. His dedication, vision, and exemplary leadership were an inspiration to countless people. Let us join hands and remember Kent with our own hard work and devotion.

Kent Whealy
Kent Whealy


Ceres Trust supports movement–oriented organizations; independent scientists; and the preservation and restoration of ecological, Indigenous and farmer knowledge. Ceres Trust invests in the organizing, strategy development and resiliency required to spark systemic, equitable and transformative change. Ceres Trust emphasizes long–term relationships with grantees. Grantmaking is focused in Hawai’i, the upper Midwest, and the San Joaquin Valley of California.